The carnival season is celebrated in Greece and Cyprus for three weeks. The celebrations start by the “opening of the Triodion”, as it is called by our church. The first week is called Profoni or Profonisimi (because people would loudly announce the beginning of the carnival), in which people prepare their pigs to be slaughtered for the coming week called “Kreatini” (which means meat consumption).
Today is “Tsiknopempti” (stinky Thursday) which is part of the merry-making and feasting celebrations during “Kreatini” week. In Greek “Apokries” (also called Karnavali), has the same meaning as Carnival. The word Carnival is made up of two Latin words, carne, meaning flesh and vale, meaning take away. Carnival originated as a pagan festival in ancient Greece and then it was also celebrated by the Romans. By the coming of Christianity this pagan tradition developed and mixed with Christian traditions.
On this day the tradition is to grill food so that the smoke will fill the atmosphere. On this day people go out to tavernas and you will also see many street vendors selling souvlakia, sausages, lamb chops etc.
The last week before the Great Lent is called Tyrini (tyri means cheese in Greek) because eating meat is not allowed, but dairy products are. However, most people do not follow this tradition and continue eating meat and only on the last day “Sunday of Tyrini” the tradition is followed by eating cheese.
After the three weeks of feasting The Great Lent begins on Clean Monday, when no meat and no dairy products are allowed for 40 days. This great period of Lent before Easter is called by the Orthodox Church, Tessaracoste or Saracosti (Quadragesimal), which comes from the word forty (the 40 days of “fasting”).
The crisis will keep a lot of people at home, so we make the best of it and grill or fry anything that is relevant with this feast.
Before grilling your pork chops, marinate them, as marinades are essential as they tenderize meat but also infuse flavour into the meat. The same marinade can be used to marinate souvlakia.
Marinated Garlic Petimezi Pork chops with Sweet and Sour Sauce
Preparation time: 5 minutes
Cooking time: 10 – 25 minutes
Marinating time: 1 hour
- 4 pork chops
- 1 clove garlic
- 2 tbsp honey
- 2 tbsp petimezi
- 1 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
- ¼ cup Seville orange juice (or add lemon or orange juice or mustard)
- 1 heaped tbsp Greek yoghurt
- Salt and freshly ground pepper
Sweet and Sour Sauce:
- 3 tbsp olive oil
- 2 tbsp all purpose flour
- 1 tbsp roasted garlic puree or use the one in the marinade, finely chopped
- Leftover marinade
- ¼ cup red dry wine
- ¼ cup milk or cream
- ½ cup water
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper
- You can cook the pork chops over charcoal, on the grill, on a cast iron grill skillet, or in the oven. The time depends on which way you will cook them.
- Heat the olive oil and sauté the garlic until soft.
- Add the flour and mix to make a roux.
- Add the wine and deglaze.
- Add the marinade and mix.
- Then add the milk and water.
- Season with salt and pepper and mix until the sauce thickens.
You can find my Greek recipes in my cookbooks «More Than A Greek Salad», and«Mint, Cinnamon & Blossom Water, Flavours of Cyprus, Kopiaste!» both available on all Amazon stores. Read more here.
Other related Recipes:
Kopiaste and Kali Orexi,